By Contributor Conrod Tucker
Donald Trump’s poor conduct and abuse of power as president of the USA over the last four years, have been a sore point for many Americans, especially those who expect him to distinguish himself with the prestige of holding such high office. But, affording an individual with autocratic ambitions such as Donald Trump so much power is dangerous to the democratic ideals of the American people. As such, the archaic laws governing the power of the presidency are long overdue for revision.
Since becoming the commander and chief, Trump has taken full advantage of his unbridled power and has ruled the country like a dictator. I know there will be detractors with opposite views to my position on this topic, but the world has seen myriads of evidence in support of my argument. The most recent and clearly the most egregious example of abuse of power was inciting his supporters to storm The Capitol to prevent congress from not certifying the 2020 elections. This unfortunate situation occurred because of unfounded allegations and lies of voter fraud, which would have disenfranchised over 80 million people who voted against him.
But let us backtrack to a year ago when he caught trying to influence the president of Ukraine to discredit Joe Biden because he knew then that Biden would likely be his opponent in the 2020 Presidential Elections. The House of Representatives impeached him, and he was tried and acquitted by a partisan Senate, which heard overwhelming evidence that should have convicted him. And since his election, many allegations ranged from rape to campaign financing, and he has not been charged. What is frustrating is that nowhere in the US constitution states that a sitting president cannot be charged. This idea is a long-standing policy of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that no constitutional scholar wants to challenge. This policy should be tested in court because there is no legal precedence cited by the DOJ to enforce this rule.
A revision of the power given to a sitting president would expose the fiasco that makes anyone holding this office to feel like he is invincible, and Trump has maximized it with his autocratic tendencies. It is clear that he believes he is above the law, acts like a king, and rules the US like a monarchy. The other thing that mystifies me is the belief that a sitting president can pardon himself. And there are rumors that Trump is seriously thinking about pardoning not only himself but his family too. If so, that supports my argument that the president of the United States has too much power.
In essence, the constitution has gifted anyone holding that office with so much power that they can do anything and gets away with it. That is contrary to the Constitution of the USA, which states no one is above the law. They should revise it to say no one is above the law, except a sitting president, it is true.
Recently, Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, Paul Manifort, Roger Stone, Charles Kushner et-al, all of whom are part of his inner circle, and most of them hardly served any prison time for their conduct, with Stone serving no time in jail. There is no limit on how many people or the types of crimes that the president cannot issue a pardon. Unfortunately, there is no check and balances on a sitting president, because he has full autonomy to do whatever he pleases with hardly any repercussion.
Apart from the 25th Amendment, impeachment or resignation, removing the president is almost impossible. The US would like to see Trump do the right thing and resign, but there is no real possibility of that due to his insatiable appetite for power. Except for his acolytes, he is cognizant that most Americans want him gone, but he will cling to power until he is forcefully removed or until he reaches the end of term on January 20. Now the Democrats are scrambling to draft the Articles of Impeachment to him remove him, but good luck with that becoming a reality. With a partisan Senate still headed by one of his sycophants – Mitch McConnell, who already sounded the alarm that he would not have a hearing until January 19, one day before Trump’s term ends, so the possibility of convicting and removing him his nil. And you can forget the 25th Amendment because Vice President has failed to act even with the prodding of the Democrats and even after Trump puts him in harm’s way during the insurrection.
American’s fascination with the constitution sometimes has blinded them. The 2nd Amendment is an excellent example of failing to revise archaic laws. Having the right to bear arms does not mean it is right to kills scores of people. We have seen many mass shootings played out repeatedly in schools, shopping malls, movie theatres, etc., and there is still no revision of this law. The same thing applies here with the power given to a sitting president. The framers of the American Constitution had the right intentions when they wrote these laws, but they are long overdue for revision. The election of Donald Trump has exposed the flaws with giving one man too much power.
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